Zee's Dish TV gets clean chit from government

NEW DELHI: The government, on 13 December, admitted in the Parliament that apprehensions in certain quarters had been expressed on porn content being available via direct-to-home (DTH) television services. But it gave a clean chit to the countrys first such service, Dish TV, 20 per cent owned by Zee Telefilms.

Information and broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy today informed the Upper House that the government is, however, keeping a watch on the possible misuse of DTH service for viewing pornographic channels.

The issue was examined in the month of August earlier this year and detailed inquiries revealed that some pornographic channels were available on the C band in India.

The government further clarified that a DTH set top box, which receives signals in KU band, cannot be used for viewing pornographic channels available on C band unless the DTH service provider transmits these channels in its bouquet or alternatively the subscriber accesses the relevant smart card and installs a huge C band dish antenna to receive such channels.

Giving a clean chit to Dish TV, Reddy said that the premises of ASC Enterprises, the sole DTH licensee, were inspected by a team deputed by the I&B ministry. It was observed that none of the pornographic channels were part of Dish TVs bouquet of channels.

The DTH license conditions make it obligatory on the licensee to adhere to the programme and advertisement code and ensure that its facilities are not used for transmitting any objectionable or obscene content, messages or communication inconsistent with the laws of India.

In reply to another query from parliamentarians, Reddy said that a 20 KW medium wave radio station at Sambalpur has been upgraded to 100 kW to provide adequate coverage in neighbouring districts of Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Sonapur, Bolangir and Bauda.

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